Turn the lights down low. Light some scented candles. Let's share and celebrate our relationship. This is what the 'Lover' archetype is all about. The character who seeks intimacy and the sharing of sensual pleasure.
Archetypes are recognisable patterns of human behaviour which are often amplified in stories. In turn, stories are the way we make sense of the world around us. For those involved in the disipline of 'managing meaning' (e.g. storytelling and branding) archetypes become a powerful tool. They help teams build extraordinary meaning and create remarkable creative work because archetypes enable communication on a deep psychological level. More on the power of archetypes here.
In this post we will review the Lover brand archetype building on the work of Margret Mark and Carol S Pearson in their book "The Hero and the Outlaw".
An introduction to the Lover Archetype
The Lover is all about sharing experiences. They focus on becoming as physically and emotionally attractive as possible and value deeply connected relationships. They are driven by passion for the ones they love.
Typically these brands are found in the cosmetic, fashion and jewellery industries. More recently brands like Magnum and Nescafe have moved towards embodying the 'lover' - playing on the role of the sharing of sensual experiences through their products.
"Sex sells" as it appeals to one of the most basic of our human instincts - that of reproduction.
Brands such as Ann Summers and Victoria's Secret are obvious examples, positioning themselves as the gateway into erotic experiences. This archetype does not only come in the form of sexual partnership though but also of parental and family affection. For example the character, 'Mrs Hudson' in Sherlock Holmes, would fall into the category of a 'Lover' archetype bit she would be exhibiting a 'maternal' love.
Desire: attain intimacy and experience sensual pleasure
Goal: being in a relationship and share experiences
Greatest Fear: bring alone
Strategy: become more and more attractive physically or emotionally
Vulnerability: jealousy, trying to please others too much
Talent: passion, appreciation, dedication
Motto: "I only have eyes for you"
Their biggest fear is being alone, unwanted and unloved by the one they desire. They will do everything they can to ensure this does not happen.
Ice cream brand Haagen-Darz is a typical example of a 'lover' brand
Examples of images and brands which embody the Lover Archetype can be found on my specially curated Pinterest board here. Note: I will be frequently updating this board as I come across new Lover images so bookmark it!
Brands which embody the Lover: Häagen-Dazs, Ann Summers, Channel, Gucci, Thorntons, Baileys, Magnum, NESCAFÉ.
The Lover sits in the quadrant of archetypes which serve the customer motivation of 'Belonging & Relationships.' It appeals to those who want to feel connected, have fun and enjoy life.